Friday, January 27, 2012

Health benefits of the Tomato

You’ve heard that the tomato is good for you, but why? You might be surprised to know that eating a processed or heated tomato is better for you than a fresh tomato. The bright red and orange colors of the tomato are tell-tell sign of Lycopene. Lycopene is reported to help prevent many kinds of cancer including: Prostate, cervical, skin, breast, and lung. It also helps prevent macular degeneration of the eyes and other degenerative diseases. With those benefits and the vitamin C content, they offer a great immune benefit.
The reason that processed tomatoes are healthier than fresh is because the Lycopene is stored in the cell walls of the tomato and are released for easier absorption when the tomato is heated. It is also of benefit of vitamin C to help boost your immune.
When eating tomatoes be sure to them with some fat, because lycopene is fat-soluble. Olive oil is always a great choice, or your favorite cheese.
A fun side note: Historically the tomato was thought to be poisonous because it is part of the nightshade family whose plants are poisonous. But did you know that the stems and leaves of the tomato are in fact poisonous? Only about 200 years ago was the stigma of the tomato being poisonous was changed. I am awfully glad it was I don’t know if I could live without the tomato.

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